Psyched: Atai Life Sciences Hits Nasdaq, Canada To Fund Ketamine Trials, Mydecine Launches AI Drug-Discovery Platform

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Atai Life Sciences (NASDAQ: ATAI) made its highly-anticipated Nasdaq debut on Friday.

The Berlin-based company is joining an exclusive group of start-ups in the psychedelics sector to IPO this year on the Nasdaq, including MindMed (NASDAQ: MNMD) and Compass Pathways (NASDAQ: CMPS).

Backed by PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) founder Peter Thiel, the company had raised over $362 million since its inception in 2018. Atai raised an additional $225 million from its upsized initial public offering on Thursday, selling 15 million shares at a price of $15.

Atai is also a major shareholder in Compass Pathways, holding around 25% of its shares.

Largely focused on drug development, Atai’s revenue stream is still dependent on the regulatory approval of the compounds and treatments in its pipeline. As of now, molecules and treatments under Atai’s wing are still going through various stages of development from discovery to Phase II clinical trials.

Price Action: Atai stock opened trading on Friday at $21, giving the company a market valuation of about $3.19 billion at the time.

The stock peaked at about $22 before noon and then reached a low-end point of $16.50 to close its first day of trading at $19.45.

Mydecine Launches AI-Assisted Drug Discovery Program

Mydecine Innovations Group (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF) announced on Wednesday the launch of a virtual drug discovery program that will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to inform its drug discovery process.

“The in-silico program will enable the company to more rapidly screen hundreds of thousands of new molecules without the need to produce them,” according to a company press release.

The program will be run in partnership with the University of Alberta.

By simulating chemical compounds in a computer interface, researchers can allocate their physical resources for more complex research, while leaving AI to virtually produce and select new molecules worth researching in the lab.

“As the next evolution of drug discovery progresses forward, we strongly believe that this new age will be fully led by artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said Mydecine CEO Josh Bartch.

The program will be led by Dr. Khaled Barakat, a computer-aided drug development expert and assistant professor of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Alberta.

Canadian Government To Fund Clinical Trial on Ketamine for Bipolar Disorder

The Canadian Institute of Health Research is launching a multi-site clinical trial to study the use of IV Ketamine in people with bipolar disorder.

The trial will be held at Toronto's University Health Network and at a research clinic owned by Braxia Scientific (CSE: BRAX) (OTCPINK: BRAXF).

"It is anticipated that the results of this rigorous study will replicate and extend separate data published in peer-reviewed journals about Ketamine treatment at Braxia, suggesting that Ketamine is a safe and effective treatment for persons with Bipolar Depression," said Dr. Roger McIntyre, Braxia Scientific CEO.

This Week’s Milestones:

Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CSE: AGN) (OTCQB: AGNPF) has received all the necessary permits and licenses for the manufacture of a cGMP supply of its proprietary DMT formulation, called AP-188. As a result, the company will be able to move forward with a phase 1 study of DMT in the emergency treatment of stroke.

PsyTech Inc. has closed a Series A funding round of CA$3.81 million ($3 million). The proceeds will be used to fund the company’s initiatives through Tovana Solutions, a tech platform that leverages data to assist patients and doctors in the psychedelics space, and Tovana Clinics, a soon-to-be-launched chain of psychiatry clinics.

Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (OTCQB: CLXPF) has chosen two anxiety disorders as main target indications for its proprietary psychedelic molecule CYB004. The company will advance research to eventually test the molecule in humans with social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.

Entheon Biomedical Corp. (CSE: ENBI) (OTCQB: ENTBF) has entered into a definitive agreement to merge with Lobo Genetics Inc., which is a genetics, diagnostics, data and analytics company that owns a genetics testing platform sold as a pre-screening test for patients seeking psychedelics treatment.

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